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Single Mom Drawn to Married Man With Terminally Ill Wife

DEAR ABBY: I am a single mom. A few months ago I met a man who contacted me on social media. After meeting him, I realized he was married, but he was not happy. Unfortunately, his wife has a terminal illness, and he feels obligated to care for her until it is over. We formed a very close bond as we talked and soon realized we are in love and want to be together.

Because of her illness and lack of support from her immediate family, we agreed that he needs to fulfill his obligation to her, and I will wait for him. We have continued talking and spending any time we can together, even though her care always takes first priority.

When she found out about our relationship, she was very upset. She has left him many times in the past because of wrongdoings on both their parts, but since her illness she has come to rely on him for everything.

She claims to have deeper feelings for him since her illness, but he says it's just a fear of being alone. He claims his feelings for her are those of friendship and compassion, not love. My question is, do you think we are doing wrong to continue quietly seeing each other while he sees her through this illness, or should I step away until his obligation is completed? -- WAITING FOR HIM

DEAR WAITING: Forgive me, but this sounds like the script for a Movie of the Week. I can't help but wonder what this man was doing looking for company on social media without mentioning that he was married.

Under the circumstances, you should take a break and let him finish his obligation to his terminally ill wife -- if she is, indeed, terminally ill. After that, because you have made promises to each other, you will be able to see each other openly, with honesty and integrity, and determine where the relationship winds up.

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